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Rock M Roundtable!

1 - Mizzou inked two new basketball recruits this week: John Underwood and Tyler Stone.  Thoughts?

2 - Blaine Dalton.  Discuss.

3 - The new College Football Hall of Fame class was
introduced last week.  It includes some Heisman winners, but also just a lot of rock-solid, All-American level guys like Major Harris and Curt Warner (the original Curt Warner).  Do you see anybody from recent (or current) Missouri squads ever making the cut?

4 - And because I can, I'm bringing this up: Joe Paterno wants the Big Ten to expand.  Will it ever happen?  Yes, we talked about this plenty of times in previous roundtables...sue me...just wait until you see the repetition this summer!

5 - Finally, your chicken v. egg question of the day: if Brett Favre finally, 100%, completely retired, would ESPN stop freaking talking about him?  Or...if ESPN stopped freaking talking about him, would Brett Favre finally, 100%, completely retire?

The Boy: And by the way...I laughed myself to tears with this...

Can't decide whether it was the "I don't Twitter yet--I've got medication that takes care of that" part, or the Miller Lite for Breakfast part, but...god, I love Ueck...

The Beef: 1 - I would say I was a tad incredulous at first only because I had bought into the Jarrid Famous thing and still felt a little jilted. However, as I read more about them, I am growing more and more excited about both (thanks to the solid articles on them from   I think Stone has a potential as a 3 and a 4, and a much better and college-ready body than I anticipated.  I am most excited about his potential at the 3 because that is the only spot without any real depth behind it.  It also now seems like Underwood has more of an offensive touch and evidently his defense and timing for blocked shots may be even better than Ramsey or Bowers…..oh lord….I guess a follow-up question should be which of these two will steal The Boy’s man-crush this season away from the Party Starter?

2 - Will not discuss until all the facts are out.  I might suggest that as a party line, but you kids have at it.

3 - I see Chase Coffman making it at some point, but that is probably it.  He was a 4-year contributor (which is a big thing for the HOF as I understand it) and a Mackey Award winner.  Chase Daniel only had a “true” 3-year contribution and Maclin….God love him…just was not around long enough.

4 - It will never happen because they have their own network.  When you can replace the money you would be making with a championship game in either STL, Indy or other domed stadiums with revenue from TV, there is no need to expand, especially when the polls allow for one of your under matched teams to typically play for a national title.  Why fix what ain’t broke?

5 - If he did 100 percent retire, they would stop talking about him.  However, they KNOW he is still not 100 percent retired and probably wont be still for another year or two.  Basically, I fear a debilitating injury is the only thing which will ever officially affirm his departure from the game.

ZouDave: 1 - We got bigger, that's for sure.  These kids look like they're pretty athletic, and that fits our style well, but these guys were also our "plan b" guys so I'm wondering if we should expect anything out of them next season at all.

2 - Dalton put himself in a very, very stupid situation.  I hope the explanation I've heard (the painkillers belonged to a friend of his) prove to be true because then we're just talking about a teenager driving around with beer in the car.  I did that as a 16 year-old.  It doesn't make you a felon, it makes you an idiot.  Pinkel can fix idiots.  Pinkel won't worry about fixing a felon.

3 - If Chase Coffman doesn't end up in the College Football Hall of Fame then they need to rename it.  Best receiving TE, statistically, in the history of the game with a highlight reel like no other (might as well JUMP!).  He is a sure bet.  Daniel has a shot, because his stats are gaudy and he won a lot of games and was a Heisman finalist.  He has a shot.  Maclin...well, I just wonder if they will consider a guy that only played 2 years.  He holds the frosh record for all-purpose yards and led the nation in that category as a soph.  He was a 2-time All-American, which even if he had played 4 years would be impressive.

And I guess Rucker as well.  He was great, but once Coffman was out of his shadow we may tend to forget about Rucker a bit.

Defensively...I don't think anyone merits the discussion yet.  Moore could have if he'd repeated his Junior season, but he didn't.  Maybe Spoon will merit discussion by the end of the year.

4 - I think it will happen, but I only think it will happen once Notre Dame is forced to give up their BCS slot and/or TV contract.  Notre Dame will then become the 12th team in the Big Ten, which will get renamed to something like the Big Awesome or possibly the Big Most Bestest Conference EVER!!!!!1!1!

I do not think Missouri will ever move to the Big Ten.  I do not think ANY other BCS school will ever join the Big Ten.  So if it isn't Notre Dame, it will have to be a MAC team.  I just don't see that happening.  It will be Notre Dame (they play half of the Big Ten every year anyway) and then they'll go to a schedule like the Big 12 has (5 division games, 3 non-division games).  This will give ND 4 non-cons which will allow them to continue playing USC and Navy every year as well as 2 patsies.
5 - Brett Favre makes the Baby Jesus cry.

Doug: 1 - Um... they do have pretty good names.

2 - Yeah... not touching that one.

3 - So, I'm guessing there will be a question in this roundtable I can have opinion on.

4 - Well, the current commissioner of the Big Ten (+1) doesn't want it to happen. And, seemingly, neither do any of the other football coaches in the conference. Like Seth said, they've got a good thing going with the Big Ten Network. Whatever money they would probably make with a conference championship game, they're making now with the network.

5 - Frankly, I place the blame squarely on Peter King's shoulders.

rptgwb: 1 - Trust in Anderson. That's all I've got.

2 - Unfortunate series of circumstances or not, it was a poor mistake by Dalton, even though it was one anybody could have made. I'll reserve judgment -- positive or negative -- until the legal types sort this out.

3 - Missouri's had some good, maybe even great college football players in the last few years, but it's hard for me to fathom they're hall of famers. If Maclin gets in, Harvin has to get in. If Daniel gets in, then Brennan, Harrell, etc. all get in. The only legitimate case I can make is for Chase Coffman. That man deserves to be in the college football hall of fame.

4 - Is it time to preview football season yet? HEY TIME - BE JUNE FASTER.

5 - If a Brett Favre falls in the woods and ESPN doesn't report it, does anyone care?

Michael Atchison: 1 - I’m not a big fan on the immediate post-mortem of a recruiting class (it’s like the NFL draft:  You can say it’s good or bad, but you don’t really know until years later), especially with a staff that has an unconventional approach.  And I’ll be honest, I didn’t know who these guys were a week ago, but in reading up on them, I understand how they fit.  I like the fact that Stone is young for his grade, and that he’s a relative newcomer to the game, because it suggests that he might have some upside, and a 6’7” athlete with some inside-outside gifts is a good prospect to flourish under Anderson.  And Underwood is one of the few pieces to the puzzle that Anderson hadn’t recruited yet: a big guy built like a bull whip who blocks buckets of shots.  I hope the next class includes a big time wing scorer and an offensively skilled big man, but I’m looking forward to seeing this group develop.  One last thought.  While I’m sure that Anderson would like to have some McDonald’s All-American-caliber recruits, his current method really is a throwback to the 1970s.  He’s taking guys, not expecting much early, coaching them up, and letting his contributors emerge within the program (think of the way Lyons and Tiller developed).  The way things are going, this program will perpetually be led by juniors and seniors, which will bring stability, and as long as there’s good (if not great) talent, it will produce good results.  Hopefully, he’ll land the super blue-chipper here and there to put them over the top.

2 - As far as plausible deniability goes, he has made a pretty good case.  Otherwise, I’ll leave it alone.  It’s certainly a setback for him.  How big?  I imagine the facts will sort that out in the next few weeks.

3 - Watch what the guys do in the pros.  It shouldn’t have any effect, but it does.  Kellen Winslow is in the college hall, and I’m not at all convinced that he would have made it without his pro career.  I think Coffman is the most obvious choice because of his record-setting production.  Maclin is a tough call.  It was a short career, but he was a first team All-American twice.  And don’t sleep on Brad Smith.  With the proper distance, his numbers are going to look HoF worthy.

4 - BEEF’s response supposes that there’s such a thing as enough money.  I’m not sure there is.  And I think the Big Ten Network might be the best reason to expand.  It’s a niche network, and a niche network needs eyeballs.  There are a lot of eyeballs in New York.  I would not be at all shocked if they made a play for Syracuse at some point.  The problem with asking whether something “ever” will happen is that ever is a mighty long time.  But there’s something else.  The afterworld.  A world of never-ending happiness, where the sun shines day and night.  So when you call up that shrink in Beverly Hills . . . . sorry, got lost there for a second.  Will it ever happen?  Yes.  Eleven is too odd a number to manage forever.

5 - He did 100% retire.  Two weeks ago, he said that there was absolutely no way he would come back.  But I agree.  Story is old.  It would be one thing if he were in his prime.  Now, why would a team want him?  He’s diminished as a player, he’s a very short term solution, and he completely disrupts the continuity of your team.  Just say no, Minnesota.

ghtd36: 1 - Here's hoping that both of their hot sisters will come to the games.

2 - Dalton's excuse is both believable and ridiculous. For one, I can totally see something like this happening, where his buddy leaves his medication in the car and someone stows a warm beer in the glove compartment. It's very much feasible, in my opinion.

On the other hand, dude, do you ever clean out your car? Like, seriously? His buddy Zach Wilson said that he had shoulder surgery in September. That means that he legitimately has had the medication for at least seven months. And if the medication wasn't strong enough for him, he probably got that changed out relatively quickly. You're telling me that you didn't clean out your car for six months? I think that speaks more poorly of his cleanliness than his judgment.
And no, I'm not sure I take his excuse at face value. But he's innocent until proven guilty.

3 - Coffman's got a chance, and hopefully they'll include a section of the Hall of Fame dedicated to his ability to leap over defenders. You can have video highlights, a simulation room where you too can hop over a defender, and a Wii station for...well, you know.

4 - Hello, my name is Jon Masterson, senior analyst at the Department of Logic. On behalf of the DOL, I respectfully request that you cease and desist all talk of the Big Ten expanding. That idea, according to the Department's calculations, makes way too much sense.

Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.

Jon Masterson
Department of Logic
(550) 555-0939

5 - I've come to the realization that there is only one solution for this problem: someone needs to break Brett Favre's hip. Obviously, you're not going to wish death on someone, but he seriously needs to suffer some sort of debilitating, career-ending injury. I nominate Ziggy Hood.

And we, as a nation, have got to stop pretending that Brett Favre is the greatest quarterback EVAR. He's not. He's a good-not-great quarterback who played for a long time. Do you realize that 3.3% of all of his passes were picked off? Players with a better INT%:

David Carr
Tony Banks
Charlie Batch
Kyle Orton
Michael Vick
Randal Cunningham

He has the same INT% as Elvis Grbac. Case closed.

Michael Atchison: I can't hang around for the full discussion today, but whenever one of you inevitably throws things thing off the rails in a fit of suspect judgment, here's my response:

Play him off, keyboard cat!

The Boy: And speaking of suspect judgment...

The Boy: I guess I can actually answer my own questions now...

1 - It's impossible not to first think "Hey, these are Plan B guys, should we have spent a scholarship on either or both, or should we have sat on the schollies for next year?"  It's also impossible not to then think, upon reading about these two kids, "Wow, these guys are perfect for our system."  I'm more excited about Underwood than Stone, simply because Underwood's already apparently great at something (shot-blocking), and that can get you into the rotation pretty quickly.  And yeah...if he can be a Keith Ramsey type, only younger and more athletic, I'm cool with that.

2 - I think what shocked me the most here is that he's talked to the press so much.  Things are usually pretty tight-lipped over at Devine Pavilion, and I'm thinking he might suffer some consequences just for talking.  That said...I agree with everybody else...sounds both plausible and stupid, but it's not sounding too, too terrible at this point.  One certainty in life is that 18- and 19-year old males will do stupid things.  As long as he wasn't trying to sell pain-killers on the side, he should be alright in this one.  And now I'll stop talking about it.

3 - I agree that Coffman has the best shot, simply because he won the Mackey Award and set at least one national record (what was it, total receptions?).  And since I'm also most optimistic about his pro prospects, I'd say I'm about 80% certain that he could be in the College HoF.  Chase Daniel?  30% (Major Harris made it, but I believe he finished 2nd in the Heisman and took his team a game further--to the national title game, not just a game away).  Maclin?  20%.  Rucker?  5%.  Anybody else?  1%.

4 - It will happen...someday.  Lord only knows when.  And I disagree with Dave: I think ANYBODY in the Big East would go to the Big Ten, even South Florida.  Rutgers would jump in a millisecond, and Syracuse would jump in two milliseconds.  Pittsburgh?  Four milliseconds.  Missouri is clearly the most interesting and uncertain choice--I honestly don't know whether they would jump or not.  I think they would, but I'm less certain about that than I was a couple years ago.

As for when it will happen...well...when a college football playoff is finally instituted (and it will happen), it will wrap up what will have been about a 25-year walk towards that, starting with the Bowl Alliance, moving through the BCS years, etc.  With that as the timelienss baseline, I figure we've got at least another ten years of talking about Big Ten expansion before it happens.  The good news is, Joe Paterno will still be coaching Penn State twenty years from now, so he'll see it happen.

5 - I guess if my QBs were Gus Frerotte, Tarvaris Jackson, and John David Booty, I'd at least somewhat see Favre as a viable option.  That said...please.  Stop talking about him, Worldwide Leader.  For the love of god, please stop.  And while we're at it, I'm never going to Jared Jewelers, and I'm never going to, so please find other advertisers before I hunt down the guy from the commercials and beat him with a baseball bat.

The Beef: I am pretty sure the Vikings also traded to get Sage Rosenfels…add him to the list  :-)

ZouDave: what about

(an hour later...)

ghtd36: RMN Roundtables: Putting Crickets To Work Every Wednesday!

The Boy: Hey, you were brought in to bring energy to an old bunch of our friend said to all the Mexican dudes handing out naked lady cards in Vegas..."WHATCHU GOT???"

ZouDave: Alright, I'll derail this thing:

Zack Greinke is currently having the best season a starting pitcher has had in the last 30 years.  Go.

The Beef: You mean future Yankee/Red Sox Zack Greinke?

ZouDave: He's signed with KC through 2012, so what you're saying may be eventually true but not for a few years.

The Beef: hmmm…remind me then to start paying attention

ZouDave: You need to watch him pitch.  His control has been just unbelievable.

The Beef: I would…except the Royals are never on TV outside of KC

ZouDave: Not technically can get the different Fox Sports channels just about anywhere.  I would expect someone who works for the cable company to know that.

The Beef: Well…aside from the MLB package which is very much not free…the Royals (as I inferred) have yet to be on anything outside of regional television, thus precluding myself from seeing them.  I only anticipate this will continue until…well…KC matters again  :-)

ZouDave: If Greinke is on the hill against Boston or New York, I bet someone national will pick that game up.

ghtd36: I've been man-crushing hard on Grienke for several years now, and it's finally coming to fruition.

His numbers are silly. Just silly. Let me try to explain something, like I explained to my brother earlier.

There is a statistic out there called ERA+. It basically measures how good a pitcher is as compared to everyone else. The formula is 100x[league average ERA/the pitcher's ERA]. Essentially, if you followed along, that means that an average pitcher will have a 100 ERA+. Anything above is above average, anything below is below average.

The best modern-day season of ERA+ was Pedro Martinez's ridiculous 2000 season, when he tossed a 291 ERA+. That's ludicrous numbers, and they're in line with how ludicrous he was that year (1.74 ERA in 217 innings, 0.737 WHIP, 11.8 K/9 and an 8.8 (!!!!!) K/BB radio).

That was a 291 ERA+, basically meaning that he was 2.9 times better than the average MLB pitcher that season.
Zack Grienke's ERA+ currently stands at 1170. The next closest guy currently? Johan Santana, at an amazing 392.

Now, obviously, beware of small sample sizes, but HOLY CRAP.

ZouDave: yeah, that is ridiculous.  Even as that normalizes over the long season you can easily see Greinke keeping that number near 300.  It's not like anyone can call his pitching so far a fluke, because he's done it in EVERY SINGLE START so far.  His worst performance has been a 7-inning effort in which he gave up 5 hits, 2 walks and 2 runs while striking out 8.  KC won 11-3.  That's his WORST peformance out of 6 so far.

3 complete games, 2 of them shutouts and the other one the run he gave up was unearned.  It's ridiculous.

I think KC can win 75% of the games Greinke pitches this year.  That means we only need to win about 49% of the games anybody else starts and the Royals should win about 87 games this year.  If we win 87 games, we'll win the Central.